Steve McLinden / Shopping Centers Today – Not only are this year’s expanding retailers scrambling to keep pace with the fastest-changing industry landscape in history, they are also squaring off against increasing numbers of global competitors. Absent from most of today’s business models are any expansion-by-saturation strategies and the old cookie-cutter store formats; in their place are microdemographic site selection, creative use of smaller spaces and multichannel digital presentations.
Armed with these new approaches and working from a relatively robust 2014, retailers and restaurateurs are projecting their expansion visions and initiatives worldwide, observers say. “The world of retail is changing quite dramatically,” said Michael Hirschfeld, senior vice president of national retail tenant services at third-party mall management firm JLL. Improvements in distribution channels and web offerings are giving tenants broader geographic and branding opportunities, he says. “Some of our smaller, emerging clients may go into the U.S. West Coast with their first stores, but may choose London for their second, and Tokyo for their third.”